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The Kensington Royal Canadian Legion hosted a groundbreaking ceremony today to announce it has officially started construction on a new 4-storey hall. Legion members and a number of politicians were all in attendance at the event, which will herald a new home for the Legion 264 at 1910 Kensington Rd. NW.

Watch video (courtesy of CTV News)

The redevelopment is to revitalize the existing aged and fiscally unsustainable facility. The new legion is envisioned to breathe new life into the 1,800 member strong branch and rejuvenate the neighbouring NW community. The development, which includes a retail and residential condominum complex adjoining the hall, will ensure the Legion’s survival, its members say.

“The building was built in 1953; the pipes are getting rusted, a lot of maintenance has to be done on it. We need a new building. We need a new image. If you look at the old one, it’s got bricks and, to me, brick used to mean a prison. We want to open it up now and say ‘we’re open, we open our arms to have you join us,” said Bill Cox, president of Legion 264.

The $8M, 30,000 sq ft (2,787 sq m) facility, scheduled for completion by the end of 2016, includes a private, members-only area, as well as meeting rooms and minor office space for the administration of the Legion organization. The vision also includes a new ‘Outdoor Cafe’ space with vibrant community-focused frontage on Kensington Road NW, which is classified as a ‘Neighbourhood Boulevard’.

The project’s launch is an inspiration as an important institution overcomes adversity, said Veteran Affairs Minister Kent Hehr. “It’ll be a landmark showcase making not only the Legion more successful, but this area more successful.”

For more information on the Kensington Legion project click here.

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